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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013 May;24(6):943-53. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2012111055. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Histone deacetylase inhibitor enhances recovery after AKI.

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Department of Developmental Biology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh,PA, USA.


At present, there are no effective therapies to ameliorate injury, accelerate recovery, or prevent postinjury fibrosis after AKI. Here, we sought to identify candidate compounds that accelerate recovery after AKI by screening for small molecules that increase proliferation of renal progenitor cells in zebrafish embryos. One compound identified from this screen was the histone deacetylase inhibitor methyl-4-(phenylthio)butanoate, which we subsequently administered to zebrafish larvae and mice 24-48 hours after inducing AKI. In zebrafish, treatment with the compound increased larval survival and proliferation of renal tubular epithelial cells. In mice, treatment accelerated recovery, reduced postinjury tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis, and increased the regenerative capacity of actively cycling renal tubular cells by decreasing the number of cells in G2/M arrest. These data suggest that accelerating recovery may be a viable approach to treating AKI and provide proof of concept that a screen in zebrafish embryos can identify therapeutic candidates for kidney injury.

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